A Spotless Example
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15.
The life of Christ had been so secluded at Nazareth that the world did not know Him as the Son of God—their Redeemer. He was regarded as nothing more than the son of Joseph and Mary. His life in childhood and youth was remarkable. His silence in regard to His exalted character and mission contains an instructive lesson to all youth. His faithful obedience to His parents until He was thirty years of age is a pattern for youth to imitate more than the Jesus in Gethsemane and upon Calvary.
We shall never be required to endure the agony of the Son of God which He bore for a guilty world; but His life of submission and faithful obedience to His parents is the pattern for all children and youth. Although they may never experience, as did the Redeemer, the agony of Gethsemane or Calvary, they are required to imitate the life of Christ in humility, self-denial, self-sacrifice, and in filial, respectful obedience to their parents.
The Lord had revealed to John that Jesus would be among the candidates who were to receive baptism at his hands, and that He would give him a special token whereby he might know the Lamb of God, and call the attention of the people to Him as the long-expected Messiah.
John had heard of the sinless character and spotless purity of the life of Christ, and that He claimed to be the Son of God. He had been informed of His wise questions and answers in the Temple, which astonished the grave doctors. He had listened to the recital of the Galilean youth silencing the doctors by His deep reasoning. He thought this must be the Son of God, the promised Messiah.
As soon as the discerning eye of John rested upon Jesus, his spirit was stirred with the deepest emotion. He knew that He was not like any other man that had received the ordinance at his hand. He had strong convictions that this was the Christ of whom Moses and the prophets had written. His heart went out to Christ with intense love and reverence that he had never felt before. The very atmosphere of His presence was holy and awe-inspiring…. His heart had never been stirred with such emotions as when in the presence of Christ.
Christ came to receive baptism, not with confession of sins to repentance, for He was without the taint of sin…. Through the perfection of His character He was accepted of the Father as a mediator for sinful man…. The Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, and thus qualified to help fallen man just where he needed help.
Portions of this post are taken from “The Youth Instructor”, January 1, 1874.